COL Tom Brewer, Ret. of Gordon, has been awarded the Medal for the Defense of Freedom by the Secretary of Defense. On Wednesday, May 7, former 3rd District congressman and Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne will present the medal to Brewer in a special awards ceremony at the Strategic Air and Space Museum, near Ashland.
COL Brewer retired in January of 2014 after 36 years of decorated military service, including 1,200 days in Afghanistan. Brewer was severely wounded when the vehicle he was traveling in was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade on 16 December 2011. COL Brewer spent two years in rehabilitation with every intention of returning to active duty but his wounds forced him into military retirement.
The Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom was established in 2001. According to the U.S. Army, the medal symbolizes the extraordinary fidelity and essential service of the Department of Defense’s civilian workforce who contribute to the preservation of national security. The Defense of Freedom medal is the civilian equivalent to the military’s Purple Heart, an award bestowed upon Brewer twice during his military career.